Free national helpline required for men suffering domestic abuse - Mark Ward TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has called for immediate government funding to provide a national free phone helpline for men who are experiencing domestic abuse and coercion.
Teachta Ward raised this issue on the floor of the Dáil during statements on action to tackle sexual, domestic and gender-based violence.
Teachta Ward said:
“Domestic abuse is sadly all too common in our society and not enough is being done to prevent abuse and support victims.
“While domestic violence is more commonly perpetrated by male abusers, it can also be committed by women.
“Abuse committed by female abusers is a serious issue, which must be taken as seriously as abuse committed by men.
“Indeed, survivors of female abusers can often face particular stigma to the violence not fitting into society’s understanding of abuse.
“Information I received from Men’s Aid, who are a national charity that supports men and their families experiencing Domestic Violence and coercive control, tells me that there is no national free phone for men.
“They also informed me that at least one in seven men in Ireland will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.
“One in 16 experience ‘severe’ domestic violence.
“They are currently receiving on average 27 calls a day and received 1641 calls in the first quarter of the year.
“Less than 1% of the budget for domestic abuse goes to supports for male survivors.
“I have contacted Minister O’Gorman to ask him that funding is provided for a free phone helpline. We have a duty as a society to ensure proper support is in place for all survivors.
“No survivors of domestic violence should be allowed to fall through the cracks, simply because their experience falls outside the traditional stereotypes of how abuse occurs.
“Every victim deserves to be believed and supported.”